Top your pie or crumble with this delicately f lavoured custard made with your own fair hands, from Vanilla by Janet Sawyer.
100g golden caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
250ml whole milk
125ml clotted or double cream
4 egg yolks, beaten
1⁄2–1 tsp vanilla paste (or seeds of 1⁄2–1 vanilla pod)
1. Mix the sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Whisk in the milk.
2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the cream gently, adding the milk mixture a little at a time. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly, and reduce heat when it starts to thicken.
3. Pour a little of the hot milk mixture onto the egg yolks, stirring well, then gradually stir this back into the remaining milk in the pan.
4. Gently bring the mixture back to the boil and stir in the vanilla paste or seeds. Serve the custard immediately, or cover with cling film to stop a skin forming, and reheat gently when needed.
Variations: To pimp your custard, add the finely grated zest of half an orange, a pinch of saffron or a tbsp of toasted flaked almonds.